Facts about Bulldogs
Bulldog puppies are a fun and wonderful breed that you would notice a mile away.
With their stocky stature and large, pushed in faces they are a breed with a lot character and personality to offer. Here are some facts about Bulldogs you should know about this breed to help you decide if Bulldog puppies are right for you.
History of Bulldogs
The English Bulldog was originally bred in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century to be a bull baiting dog. Bull baiting was a gambling sport where the dog was set on a bull and was meant to grab the bull by the nose and attempt to suffocate it. When this bloody and inhumane sport was finally banned in 1835 and so the breed was coming to the end of its “usefulness.”
Thankfully, cattle farming immigrants saved the breed by using it to help control bulls while a worker slipped a rope around its neck. Bulldog teeth made controlling large, dangerous animals easier for the cattle farmers, and so earned them a permanent place among working bully breeds. But, the Bulldog we know today was not always the short, stocky, pushed in face dog we see now.
The breed was actually more like a pit bull or American Bulldog until about 1900 when the Old English Bulldog was crossed with a Pug created the English Bulldog we are familiar with today. Over the next few decades, the English Bulldog breed was perfected and later official standards and clubs were formed to preserve the breed as it is now.
Bulldog Characteristics and Temperament
The Bulldog personality is kind, courageous, and dignified. They should be docile, not vicious or aggressive, and their ability to bond very closely with children and the whole family make them a great pet. Bulldogs get along well with other dogs and pets, although some males may not get along well with other dogs or strangers.
According to AKC Bulldog standards, a healthy Bulldog should weigh about 50-55 pounds for males and 40-45 pounds for females. The Bulldog head is generally wide with thick folds of skin on the brow, round wide set eyes, a pushed in nose with folds of skin draped over the top above the nose.
One of the more common Bulldog traits is that they have more skin hanging under the neck with drooping lips. All of these wrinkles and skin folds give the Bulldog a grumpy or “sourpuss” appearance.
The Bulldog body is short and stocky with a very broad chest and thick powerful neck. A Bulldog’s coat will be straight, short, close to the body, and smooth and glossy. Coat colors include red brindle, all other brindles, solid white, solid red, fawn or fallow, and piebald. They should also have a short tail that is tightly coiled and close to the body.
Exercising, Training and Socializing Bulldogs
As lovable and loyal as a Bulldog is they are not the brightest of breeds. They are actually ranked 78th out of 80 in the Stanley Coren’s Intelligence of Dogs scale.
This means that Bulldog behavior can be very difficult to train and are sometimes considered willful and hard headed. Training your Bulldog puppy may prove difficult however positive reinforcement training has been shown to be most effective. Also, like most bully breeds, the Bulldog tends to use his sense of sight before his sense of smell or even hearing.
What this means is that a common problem Bulldog owners have faced is a tendency for their pet to become fixated on certain people or items. This fixation does have a way of manifesting itself as aggression. Because of this, it is recommended that you work hard on training your Bulldog in basic obedience and do a lot of socialization at an early age.
Exercising your Bulldog is fairly easy as they do not require a whole lot of physical activity. Because of their stocky and heavy bodies, it is best not to do anything to vigorous with your pet. A brisk 30 minute walk once or twice a day should be sufficient to maintain a healthy dog. Just be sure to bring water to keep him from overheating and having respiratory issues.
You also want to make sure you feed your Bulldog properly to ensure that he does not become overweight. The best way to keep your dog properly fed is to use a high quality dog food. Be sure to feed your dog based on the desired weight, which should be dictated by your veterinarian, and feed multiple small meals a day. By feeding multiple small meals throughout the day, you can prevent intestinal issues, such as bloat and bowel irritation or gas, and you can be sure your Bulldog’s metabolism is working and using the food energy efficiently.
Finding a Bulldog Puppy
Probably one of the most adorable puppies you will ever see is a Bulldog puppy. They look like miniature versions of an adult, but with a lot more soft wrinkles all over their body and face.
When considering Bulldogs as pets, you will want to be sure to get your new friend from the right breeder or rescue organization. When looking for a reputable breeder, a great place to start is the American Kennel Club referral service on their website. There are also local chapters of Bulldog or English Bulldog clubs that deal strictly with that breed.
These local clubs offer you people in your area to speak with about the Bulldog breed as well as any reputable breeders or even rescues that are members of the club. It is a good idea to make sure your breeder is very involved with these types of breed clubs as well as AKC breed registry and litter registry programs.
A good breeder will always be involved with their local breed or regional club. Most will even be very involved with showing their Bulldogs through AKC or other major kennel clubs. Since Bulldogs are not rated as very intelligent or athletic, it might be hard to find good breeders who are involved with activities such as agility, fly ball, or other similar dog sport.
With that said, most Bulldog breeders will be avid showers and active in community oriented activities such as therapy dog services or breed education and rescue. Just be sure to avoid newspaper or online ads, as these are generally not reputable people. No matter how you find your breeder or rescue group, be sure that they have screened, tested, and cleared all of their dogs for any immediate illness, congenital, or genetic health conditions.
Your breeder should also offer a health guarantee that will cover at least one year from the date you obtain your Bulldog puppy. This document should guarantee the health of the animal and will offer to refund or replace the puppy if they have any immediate health conditions and congenital or hereditary defects.
The Bulldog is a loyal and friendly family pet that will give you years of true companionship. With proper training, discipline, and care, Bulldog puppies could very well be just right for you and your family.